Anorak News | Wikileaks: Madeleine McCann Helps Lazy Guardian Hacks Hit Those Keywords

Wikileaks: Madeleine McCann Helps Lazy Guardian Hacks Hit Those Keywords

by | 11th, December 2010

THE Guardian has obtained the Wikileaks leaks – did it pay for them with a donation or sign the confidentiality agreement for, er, free speech and transparency in all things?

The paper’s editor Alan Rusbridger issue a call to arms. Wikileaks is news for lazy hacks. So lazy are they that rather than just publish the entire raft of 250,000 cables on a news dump with a search engine attached and let readers see them for themselves, the Guardian wants you readers to suggest what its expert should look for.

Journalism just got lazier:

We’re now around 10 days into coverage of the embassy cables. We’ve done a thorough job of searching for themes, people and issues, but we know we’ll have missed many intriguing and important stories. What have we missed? What would you be searching for if you were sitting in front of the database?


Around 100 suggestions an hour are coming through from readers suggesting subjects to search for in the cables database. We’ve set up a small team to go through them and so far the results look promising.

Promising? How can a suggestion be promising? A search result can be promising. The suggestion is just a suggestion. Perhaps the promise is whether or not those keywords can be hit?

Several people suggested searching for information on Madeleine McCann, the British girl who went missing in Portugal in 2007, for example. She is indeed mentioned in at least two cables from the US embassy in Lisbon.

Two. Is that all. the biggest manhunt since Osama bin Laden and just two cables. And what would US wonks know about what happened to her? Is there a Portuguese cable dump we can look at?

No clues to her fate, unfortunately, but some interesting observations on the involvement of British police, which we’ll relay once we’ve checked them out.

What odds these are observations we have not hear before?

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Posted: 11th, December 2010 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink